Week 6 is rapidly drawing to a close and it is becoming pretty clear that the American Football Conference is riding the struggle train.
At the moment, Matt Schaub and the 5-0 Houston Texans are riding high and appear to be the cream of the AFC’s exceptionally mediocre crop.
Once you get past the Texans, the field becomes extremely murky at best:
- Baltimore – The Ravens narrowly defeated Dallas 31-29 and on paper, are the conference’s default second-best team. However, today’s win came at a hefty price. Their defense took a major hit with linebacker Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb both leaving today’s win with possibly season ending injuries. Baltimore’s defense is already missing pass rushing specialist Terrell Suggs. With all due respect to Ed Reed, a shaky defense is likely to become unhinged.
- New England – Another heartbreaking loss on Sunday for the Pats muted exceptional offensive performances over the last two weeks. The 3-3 Patriots can score but they can’t get defensive stops when needed and can’t seem to get enough first downs to close out games. Plus, Bill Simmons has already labeled this season an embarrassment to date.
- Pittsburgh – The 2-3 Steelers are far cry from the Super Bowl teams in 2008 and 2010 under Mike Tomlin. The older star defenders (James Harrison, Troy Polamalu) are having a hard time staying healthy and the run game has suffered without Rashard Mendenhall. Surprisingly, Pittsburgh is averaging 23 points per game and surrendering 23 points per contest.
Then of course, there is Buffalo, Miami, New York, San Diego (who lost to the previously winless Saints last Sunday night), Denver and Cincinnati (who got chopped by the winless Browns on Sunday), all of whom except for Denver own at least three wins.
The best part of this field?
Well, someone has to be AFC champion.
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